PB

I have been cooped up in the house for about 10 days.

Snow, Ice, Frigid Temperatures, No School.

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It is awesome!

That’s Oreo, the dog, and THE Mustache Cat! The wind chill here hit -30 degrees, so they have been gazing outside rather than playing outside.

Yes! The Mustache Cat is spending these snowy days in our house. Unbelievable!

In case you didn’t hear it one of the million times I’ve mentioned it before, I saw his cute mustached photo on facebook almost a year ago. A friend posted that someone needed to save him before he was euthanized. He had been trapped by animal control and scheduled to be killed when his 3 days was up. They told me that he was wild and “aggressive.” He is definitely wild. He is not aggressive, just shy.

And this is Merlin, when the snow first started to fall.

 

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After 10 days of cold temps and spending so much time in the barn, Merlin is like, stopitalready. He is ready for the green, green grass of spring.

One thing I like about snow are the prints that are left in it.

Hoof prints from the horses.

Bunny prints. hop, hop.

Deer prints.

And here’s a combination of dog prints, people prints, and a wheelbarrow wheel.

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With snow, you realize something you don’t notice withOUT snow.

You realize how many creatures have taken the path you are on BEFORE you.

(Not only in the snow, but in life.)

These are bird prints. I guess she/he/it wasn’t sure where she/he/it was headed, so she/he/it went around and around.

(Oh yeah, I’ve done that many times. Not sure where I’m headed, so I go in circles.)

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I heart snow.

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I adore the way everything wears a SNOW HAT. It makes the world look so magical.

snowhat

But one the problems I haven’t resolved with cold weather is water for all my creatures. The chicken water freezes in a matter of hours.

Oh, my injured chicken. She is still hobbling around, but she is eating and drinking fine. The challenge has been to keep the other chickens (and rooster) away from her. Especially since they are spending most of their time in the house because of the weather. Thank you for telling me about Bumblefoot, I had not heard about that. I looked it up and checked her. I don’t believe she has it. I think she hurt one of her legs.

And water for the horses. It is important in this weather that horses drink lots of water. However, they have a tendency not to. I fill up a bucket several times through-out the day and go to each horse with it. “Drink!” I tell them. Sometimes they do; sometimes they don’t. It has been so cold that their whiskers get frost on them.

The horses have water in the barn too. I haul buckets and buckets to the barn. I had an electrician install an outlet so I could put a little heater in their water bucket in the barn. But the faucet is far far away. And I haven’t figured out how to NOT slosh it on my pants every single time.

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And then the pants freeze.

These are the things I never knew anything about, living in Georgia most of my life.

Our mountain creek, the place where the horses often drink, froze all the way across.

It is somewhere under all that ice and snow.

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So I decide one morning after my PBO (see below for recipe) to take a sledge hammer and slam a hole in the creek. It was incredibly cold that morning. I worked and worked and finally got a place open to the water.

But I wasn’t content with that little hole. I wanted more. So I continued to slam the ice with the sledgehammer. And then…somehow when I slung that heavy sledge hammer in just the right way, in just the right place, it did indeed break the ice. A big chunk of ice! And the sledgehammer just kept going and the weight of it pulled me into the water. o.m.g. Now this creek isn’t deep, but I was in to my waist and I was freezing. I had a hard time getting out. Blue, my dog, who is always with me, came onto the frozen creek and helped me pull out. I love him. I was numb and frozen. I ran as fast as I could to the house to get out of my heavy and wet boots and clothes.

My husband was like, what happened? what were you doing?

“Uh, I was making a hole for the horses to drink when I fell in,” I said.

I was actually….just goofing off in the snow and ice and pretending like it was work. I mean, now that I think about it, the horses weren’t going to walk out on the icy creek to to drink. No way. But I’m here to tell you, it was a blast, an adventure.

We ate well the first few days. I happened to have had lots of fresh veggies and fruits on hand when the storm first hit. Salad, broccoli, mushrooms, raspberries, blueberries, bananas, cantaloupe, spinach. Oh yes, we ate well. And healthy.

And after we ate all the fresh food, I headed to the potato bin. We ate sweet potatoes. And baked potatoes. And butternut squash that I grew. And I found one acorn squash in the bottom of the bin, also from the garden.

And when that bin was empty, I headed to the freezer for frozen food. Frozen shrimp, yay! Frozen sweet peas. Frozen field peas. Frozen black eyed peas.

And next to the pantry for canned and boxed and bagged food. Rice. Corn. Black beans. And thank goodness, so much pasta! We have made it just fine. We have eaten well. We are warm. We have plenty of toilet paper and coffee. Life is good.

Yes, our pipes froze, but not all of them at the same time. So, we’ve always had water somewhere in the house.

As more snow arrived I came to appreciate one thing in particular. I mean, other than roof, heat, water, clothes, fireplace. This one other thing is something I have not been thankful enough for. Ever. I am super happy about this one thing. And it is high time that I gave this one thing the glory it deserves.

PB. Peanut Butter.

Wonderful, delicious, nutritious, and filling peanut butter.

Just go get the jar and a spoon and unscrew the lid and there ya go. Do you like creamy of crunchy? Me, I’m a crunchy gal. The crunchier the better. My favorite is Peter Pan Crunchy. If I can’t find that, I go for the JIF. Store brands are unacceptable, completely lacking. And the natural ones are fine and will do, but I don’t like the way the oil separates and the taste just isn’t the same. And please! You must always screw on the lid very very tightly or you lose the fresh flavor.

When we first got married, I learned that my husband never screws on the PB lid tight enough, so I buy two jars of PB. One for me and one for him. I have very sensitive taste buds. I taste OFF things more than most people do. In fact, back when I used to eat chicken, I could tell if the chicken was cooked yesterday rather than today. Or, if the meat was not super fresh.

Anyway.

PB is awesome. Who invented it, I wonder?

I was raised on PB. My Dad would mix peanut butter, butter, and some jelly together every night in a little bowl. We’d eat it on my Mom’s fresh biscuits. We called it “goulash.”

My Mom didn’t bake a lot of sweets, but one treat that she would bake for us sometimes were Peanut Butter Cookies. Hers are the best. Crunchy and yet chewy.

And what about PB Sandwiches? Is there anything better for lunch? I like mine with a few golden raisins scattered in. My husband likes his with marshmallow fluff. My daughter likes it plain. None of us add jelly. No PBJ here. You? How do you take yours?

And yes, I’m from Georgia, I also appreciate peanuts themselves.

Even though I’m not from peanut farm country, we ate plenty of peanuts growing up. My Dad LOVES roasted peanuts. I always get a bag when he comes to visit. He’ll keep some in his pockets and pop open some when we are out and about on the farm.

We also enjoy Boiled Peanuts. I think that’s a southern thing? Folks boil them in big black kettles on the side of the road in the summer and fall. You just pull in and buy a bag of piping hot p-nuts. You’ll probably be handed your peanuts in a plastic bag inside of a brown paper bag. Though, I have seen some peanuts served in large paper cups. But that’s not the traditional method. No.

Now, if you don’t already know this, let me tell you a thing or two about boiled peanuts. You don’t just pull one out of the bag and open it and eat the nuts all at once and toss the shell. No sir-ree-bob. First, you put the shell, yes the whole shell, in your mouth. Warm, salty, nutty juice. Just suck on it and move it around in your mouth. Then, once you suck all that salty goodness off the shell, you take it out of your mouth and hold it in your hand. Then, you bite the tip enough to crack it open. Suck on that end of the shell to get more of that peanut-y juice out of there. Then, and only then, do you crack open the whole shell, removing the top in one piece. Finally, pop those babies in your mouth. There will be two or three or sometimes four nuts in there. Eat ’em all up.

That is the way you eat freshly boiled peanuts. If you are driving and see a home-made sign “Boiled P-Nuts.” Just pull right in and get you some.

But.

Please don’t eat the whole, entire bag yourself.

To this day my daughter won’t eat boiled peanuts. And she won’t like me telling this story, but I will. For your own good.

We were headed up our “Vacation Farm” (before we moved to a “Full Time Farm”) to meet my parents for a fun weekend. I saw a home-made sign “Boiled P-Nuts” on the side of the road and whipped into the roadside stand. I bought two bags. One for now; one for later when we got to the farm. My daughter was young; I was busy driving. Well, that child sat in her car seat and

ate and

ate and

ate and

ate and

ate and

ATE

boiled peanuts.

When we got to our little farmhouse, she started throwing up. It was horrible. And graphic.

So, she’s done with boiled peanuts. I am sorry to report that she vowed then and there to never in her whole life eat another boiled peanut. Ever.

So don’t do that to yourself. Take it slow. And easy. They are yummy and you are going to want to eat the whole bag. But don’t.

And if you have peanut allergies? I just don’t know what to say. What do you eat instead of PB? I have a friend who is allergic to chocolate. I’ve always had such sympathy for him. Imagine life without chocolate. I can’t. Same with PB.

Now, I mentioned PBO. Snow has put me on a Peanut Butter Oatmeal (or as I call it, PBO) Kick.

You’ve got to try this. It is so yummy. Bake a batch, top it with a cut-up banana, add some chocolate chips, and some creamy milk. Oh, y’all!

PBO (Peanut Butter Oatmeal)

3 cups quick cooking oats

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 cup milk

2 TBSP melted butter

2 eggs, beaten

2 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp salt

2 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup PB

1. Mix everything together in a big bowl.

2. Spread in greased baking dish (9x13ish).

3. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

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More snow in the forecast!

Until next time, Friends, savor the flavor of life!

Lots of love, The City Farmgirl living in the Country, Rebekah

Leave a comment 19 Comments

  1. Donna Turner says:

    Sharing your love of boiled peanuts, and the explicit description re: their consumption was such a trip down memory lane for me; i just had to send my thanks! To say i anticipate/enjoy your posts is, well, an understatement. I applaud your ‘grit, grace, and glam’!!! A fan of yours…truly!

  2. Jan Sturgill says:

    Thank you for my morning chuckle! I always wanted to try boiled peanuts! Reminds me of my childhood memory of picking wild asparagus along the irrigation ditch in our field. I ate and ate and boy, was I ILL…I still eat asparagus, though.
    I think that it is so special that The Moustache Cat gets along with Oreo so well! What a great match…
    Note to self: Don’t fool around with ice unless you’re on the edge of said creek. 😉

  3. Frances says:

    What about adding some chocolate chips

  4. Janice Slater says:

    I can’t imagine living in the country, as I have always lived in the city. Farmlife fascinates me as my Mom was raised on a farm and had many fun and interesting stories to tell.
    I live on the west coast and the weather has been extremely mild this year. Looking at your pictures of so much snow and cold does not seem very appealing, but I am amazed at your fortitude and apparent enjoyment of where you live. I guess it’s all in what you are used to.
    Our daffodils, tulips, azaleas and flowering cherry trees are almost a month early this year. Wonderful to see them coming up and out, but worry about finally getting a frost that will wipe them out. No worries, the frost came and they are weathering the change.
    Love reading posts about living on a farm.

  5. Frances says:

    What about adding some chocolate chips?

  6. bonnie ellis says:

    What a post. I’m really sorry you had to get “our” winter weather. Minnesota is like what you describe what you are having. But we are prepared. We too eat pb here. I like it with tomatoes and some eat it with bananas. But back to your problem. Frozen water. Up north we have heaters that go into the water and when the power is out we use generators. I truly hope your tough weather ends soon. At least it is staying light longer, a sure sign spring will definitely come. Your farm is beautiful.

  7. Mary Rauch says:

    I am in rapture of that pic of Mustache and Oreo! May be the sweetest pic of that type I’ve ever seen. When you think of how far Mustache has come, it is unbelievable. And to see him sitting alongside Oreo, INSIDE your house…awesome!

  8. pamm says:

    Loved your post!

    My son-in-law has a special fondness for boiled peanuts…last summer we took a family vacation to beautiful Beaufort SC and it just so happened that the boiled peanut festival was happening the day we were leaving. Haha…they stayed for two extra days just to partake!!!

    As for PB I love it with just a bit of honey and I am a smooth gal. My sons could eat their weight in crunchy…funny how everyone has a different way to enjoy the deliciousness.

    I am shivering just thinking about landing in the frozen creek!! Glad your buddy was there to help.

  9. Teri Schneider says:

    Love, love, love PB! When I was in junior high years (and years!) ago, I woke up one morning and remembered I was supposed to have a sack lunch for a field trip our class was going on. Well, my mother decided to make a PB sandwich for me and added a little extra “surprise” to it. When I opened my lunch on the bus that day, I found the deliciousness of PB and bacon on my sandwich. Yes, bacon. It was awesome and I’ve loved it ever since!

  10. Brenda Towsley says:

    Hi Rebekah! You must not have electricity running to your hen house. My father in law ran some out to mine so I can run a heat lamp and a heating base for a waterer. I only have to tote water out once a day from the house since we have to shut off the faucets outside during the winter. Creamy Peanut Butter, Jiff, with butter on both pieces of bread before spreading the peanut butter, and only on soft white bread. Jeff eats his with mayo, yuck. My mothers, foster father was a farmer and after really long days outside he would come in and make toast, spread peanut butter between the two pieces and lay on a plate and pour maple syrup over the top, ate it like french toast. You must spread the peanut butter while the toast is hot and eat right away, do not wait for anyone else to start eating. I still make it for myself every couple of years just to remember. We have been having 20 below temps here also and the grandsons that live with us just went back to school after a few days off. It was around 5 degrees this morning before I left for work and now it is snowing and blowing. I am ready for spring. Ladybug is ready for spring. My poor shut in hens are ready for spring. I think I will try your peanut butter oatmeal asap! Love kitty, he is looking content.

  11. Patti Dmytras says:

    Rebekah, I love to read your blog. I live in Janesville, WI and we have a lot of snow and cold weather here too. I just wanted to let you know that George Washington Carver invented peanut butter and over 200 uses for peanuts. He is my favorite chemist of all. He was a black man who was born to a slave woman in the south, was torn away from her and went to live with a white couple who recognized his intelligence and helped him to continue his education the best that was possible during the time that he lived in the south. He became a teacher and took his students to the dump to find tin pie pans, cans and old tools and utencils to work in a laboratory since no provision for tools was given to black students. He was an honorable man, a wonderful kind hearted Christian, and a gift to all who love peanut butter.

  12. Rachelle says:

    Love your story! What a cute kitty! I put water in empty water bottles (sparkle or ozarka kind) with a lid. Then I use my sons little red wagon to haul it if needed. Just an idea. however, i don’t have to haul it through deep snow. I’m in south Texas :)

  13. Marcie says:

    Hi Rebekah,
    I have to agree – boiled peanuts is a ‘southern’ thing. I too, was raised in the south and I think we had roasted and boiled peanuts every summer. I believe some folks use Cajun seasoning in their boiling water now, but I can pass on that. I have to admit I have not had any kind of peanuts in years, except peanut butter. And speaking of PB – we live in the Smokies now and we have had a lot of snow lately and we finally dug our way out and got to town to replenish the staples and PB was high on that list … Jif creamy PB and Jonagold apples. I love peanut butter with apple slices. I’m with Merlin … enough of this snow and ice …let’s get on with spring.

    About those chickens – we got a heated water dish for chickens from Tractor Supply and it works great and other than just making sure the girls have plenty of food, treats and a toasty place to sleep, they’re in good shape during these cold days.

    Love your mustached cat … I think his twin is the cat that comes by our house for a daily meal and then heads back to the woods. A beautiful little black and white cat showed up a while back and it has a mustache and after a few months, I finally got it to come to our deck for a can of wet food and now it shows up everyday for it’s food, but it is still a bit wild.

    Take care and stay warm and make soup!

  14. Marcie says:

    Also wanted to add that my grandfather, whom we called ‘Papa’, was a farmer down in south MS and ate peanut butter everyday of his adult life and he lived to be 95 years.

  15. Denise Ross says:

    Oh whoa, that icy water, brrr it would’ve been a shock to your system when you fell in. :). I’m glad you’re loving the snow. Your photos are great. I love the footprints in the snow. So true that it beings thoughts to mind of those who’ve walked the paths before us. I love history and I think often about ancient cobbled streets where generations before us have walked doing life and those streets are still functioning well and our current generations are walking them now too. Just amazing.
    I’ve never tried boiled peanuts before, but I think I saw them in bags in out local supermarket the other day. I’m sure that they will taste different to the real thing, like what you’ve described here.
    I love peanut butter too. It’s amazing in popcorn crackers too, warm toast, I don’t add in the extra butter. Some thing else that’s wonderful with bananas chopped on top is Nutella. I especially love it with popcorn crackers, spread nicely on top of a cracker, then slice up bananas on top. Ooh so yummy. You get the crunch from the cracker then the smooth chocolate and then the creamy banana. Just such a fabulous combination. I haven’t tried it with oh, but I think I will now.
    Have a wonderful day
    Hugs from Australia
    Denise

  16. susana says:

    Ya sound like me….love peanut butter, but… learned to stop at two tablespoons…..I lick it slow, sort of, or I will eat some dark chocolate with it,,,,it helps to savor the PB.

    /We have a candy cookie recie that has oatmeal, chocolate with peanut butter…. you take 3 cups of quick oats and put it off to the side, then you make the fudge in the pot, the cope for that is n the back of the powdered Hersheys cocoa box. It has the makings for how o ake the fudge-chocolate, butter ( I think)then to the fudge you add three tablespoons to a 1/2 cup of peanut butter and a teaspoon of vanilla. Then add the peanut butter and let it melts thoroughly n medium hwpeat til it comes yo the grudge stage, then pour the fudge mix into the oatmeal, mix well, then spoon the cookies by tablespoon onto
    a dish ( makes it easier to get them off when cooled). Talking
    about it, I want to make some! Just love baking in the
    wintertime.
    Enjoy. Susana

  17. Alexandra Wilson says:

    Hey Rebekah,

    I didn’t read all of the comments but had to reply to a question in your post, so sorry if it was answered already. George Washington Carver is usually credited as the inventor of peanut butter. This is a good thing to know during black history month! Although, I’ve heard that he wasn’t the true “inventor”…it was probably the ancient Aztecs or Incas or other indigenous peoples that grew peanuts. We can grind our own at our grocery store and it is the BEST peanut butter I’ve had. Just enough crunch! I love peanut butter and honey toast…YUM.

    Hope your snow continues to be awesome! Alex, the Rural Farmgirl

  18. Joan says:

    Your whole report is just wonderful!! especially when you talk of the boiled p-nuts – well maybe that part isn’t wonderful – I AM NOW SO LONESOME for some boiled p-nuts. I am from the west/midwest but have spent many a time in the south and well – love them p-nuts. So did enjoy all of your writing – going to try the PBO tomorrow, we are to get 6-8″s in the next couple days, on top of the last 12″s we got by Sat. So on we go with winter. God bless.

  19. Jill says:

    Rebekah, your love of peanut butter made me laugh! I, too, love peanut butter (creamy Jif, thank you very much) and have probably eaten close to a million peanut butter crackers in my lifetime- saltine, ritz, graham, triscuit, doesn’t much matter–it’s just salty, yummy, pb goodness!!! I have never, however, appreciated peanut butter as much as I did when I was pregnant. Having horrible morning sickness (that lasted all day, all 9 months) I realized quite by accident one day that just the SMELL of peanut butter made me feel better. I can’t explain why– all I know is it worked!! To this day, if I don’t feel well, I just open the jar of Jif and breathe deep– better instantly!!! Thank you for a good chuckle this evening!!

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